Date Lost: 11/05/1942
Squadron Code: TR-N (possibly TR-V)
Aircraft & Serial Number: Lockheed Hudson V9163 - Possibly AM524 (?)
Flight/Mission Details:

Base: North Coates
Take off time 1152 hrs
Op: Rover

59 Squadron lost two Hudson bombers on this day. The names as listed on the North Coates roll of honour are listed below. I have found this roll to be unreliable with some of the non RAF names. Not sure how the two crews were grouped.

Edit: Thanks to Piere Renier who has taken much time to go through the ORB at Kew, he has noted this further information on the mission and crews on this day. The crews of both planes are actually listed correctly below.


NEILSON -14 Apr’42 posted in to 59 Sqn
11 May’42 North Coates – First sortie
Aircraft: TRN V9163 Mk.V (Hudson crew who survived), Crew: P/O Neilson, Sgts Menzies, Whitney, Tuckwood.

Duty: Rover:

Time Up: 1152 Down 1614.

Details: Sighted c/v of 8 ships including 1 x 10,000 ton m/v and 2 DRS 20mi. NNE of BORKUM RIFF. Attacked DR with 2 x 250 A/S 3TD and 6 x 100 A/S 3TD in stick, diving from 300 to 50ft port to starboard forward of bridge. Results not observed owing to evasive action. A/c hit by flak. Hydraulics went u/s – but made excellent belly landing at base. None of crew hurt. References: NC/01/11/5, NC/04/11/5 - On the same sortie both TRF, crewed by P/O Moss, Sgt Baker, F/S Coombs, Sgt Davis and in TRV Sgts Scouller, Doughy (Donaghy), Neggaton (Heggaton) and Kermode respectively failed to return. I’m not 100% on spellings as the ORB is hand written at this point.


Taken from the memoires of HF Tuckwood:

Our first operational trip together was nearly our last. We were in on of three Hudsons to attack a German convoy of eight merchant ships and two destroyers. The policy was to dive 50 or so feet and drop four 250 pound bombs on whatever ship we could. Unfortunately the other two planes were shot down...


Taken from the memoires of EE Allen:

Allen also makes mention of this day in his memoires as he trained with Neilson in Canada and they were both posted to 59 Sqn together in mid March 1942. He notes that this convoy was not only heavily defended by flak boats but also had fighter cover from airfields close by the convoy route.


Following post war enquiries and investigations, it was established that Flt Sgt Scouller’s body was washed ashore on the Island of Heligoland, an island in the North Sea off the north west coast of Germany. His remains were buried in the local cemetery and re- interred in the Hamburg (Ohlsdorf) British Military Cemetery. German documents also confirmed that the remains of Flt Sgt Donaghy and Sgt Heggaton were recovered from the sea, but the location of their graves could not be established. Both Flt Sgt Donaghy and Sgt Heggaton together with Sgt Kermode (missing) are recorded as having no known grave. Their names are commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing, Runnymede, Surrey, UK. (RAAF Casualties in WW2 - Alan Storr)


Update August 2014: Have recently been contacted by Fred Wilson who submitted a report by the Australian War Memorial, detailing Australians that served on attachment to the RAF (which includes the paragraph above included in the book by Alan Storr). This report notes that the aircraft on this day was "V9163", which is the aircraft noted in the ORB that Neilson & crew were flying when they crash landed on return. Thanks for taking the time to get in touch Fred, much appreciated.

RAAF 402674 Flt Sgt Scouller, C (Pilot)
RAAF 6501 Flt Sgt Donaghy, P J (Observer)
RAAF 402924 Sgt Heggaton, K W (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)
RAAF 402363 Sgt Kermode, K W (Wireless Operator Air Gunner)


Crew Details:

All lost: All Australian crew

Source: C/C Losses - McNeill

During WWII, the RAF used three-letter codes to identify their aircraft from a distance. Two large letters were painted before the roundel, which signified the squadron to which the aircraft belonged, and another letter was painted after the roundel which indicated the individual aircraft. Aditionally, there was the individual serial number for each aircraft, which was painted in a much smaller size, usually somewhere at the rear of the aircraft: (more)

Codes used by RAF 59 Squadron:

PJ Sep 1938 - Sep 1939
TR Sep 1939 - Oct 1942
1 Aug 1943 - Jul 1944
WE Jul 1944 - Oct 1945
BY Oct 1945 - Jun 1946, Dec 1947 - Oct 1950